Steve Ahnen: NH mental patients endure unacceptably long waits for care
The impact is that adults and children are confined in hospital emergency departments that are not designed or staffed for psychiatric care as they await transfer to New Hampshire Hospital. These waiting times can last for days or weeks. Lengthy delays for care at the time of a mental health crisis — often in a confined and isolated setting — can be frightening, stressful and can cause the individual’s underlying condition to worsen. It is frustrating and stressful for family members and health care professionals; also, the need to justify this type of confinement is creating issues of justice and proper protection of individual rights.
All of the factors that are contributing to this rapid increase in the admitting queue are not yet clear. From both the community mental health centers’ and the local hospitals’ vantage points, we are able to identify some contributing factors, but we believe that a more comprehensive and rapid review of this public health situation needs to be undertaken.
• Analyze its cause and devise short-term and medium-term bridging strategies to alleviate the New Hampshire Hospital backups;
• Provide more immediate care for those in a mental health crisis.
The time to act is now, before yet another tragic event occurs.
Steve Ahnen is president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association. Jay Couture is president of the New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- U.S. says Islamic State video of journalist's killing is authentic - 0
- No paper on Monday; check UnionLeader.com for updated, breaking news - 0
- Concord attorney Leahy dies - 0
- Robin Williams’ ashes are scattered in San Francisco Bay - 0
- Syracuse, Iowa crowned top party schools - 0
- Parking fines cause disputes, raise revenues - 1
- Jon Cavaiani dies at 70; desperate stand in '71 led to Medal of Honor - 0
- Meriam Ibrahim, family welcomed as long journey ends in Manchester - 2
- Moose International files suit to claim Claremont lodge - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Nashua man accused of cutting wife’s throat committed to psychiatric hospital - 1
- Two may have stabbed each other in Concord parking garage incident, police say - 0
- Manchester joyride in a stolen truck lands two in handcuffs - 0
- High School Football Power Poll: Some shuffling in the middle - 0
- License revocations for DWI announced - 0
- Pamela Diamantis: USNH’s tuition freeze offer is good for NH’s future - 1
- Crosstown Variety Store robbed in Manchester - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio: A well-earned celebration for Sox. - 0
- A’s earn their way into postseason play - 0
Dover man's nightmare lesson for everyone
Fall hikers throughout NH put on notice
'Strange ideas' Banning guns made in NH
Personhood Controversial? Really?
License revocations for DWI announced
Dredging planned for Milford's Osgood Pond